I’m usually stuffing my face with turkey and mashed potatoes, then watching football while I lie on the couch in a food coma during Thanksgiving, but this year I had the pleasure of experiencing a bit of Portuguese culture over the extended break. And what an interesting and thought-provoking culture it is! The city of Lisbon is riddled with artists and storytellers, all sharing the tragic memories of their past and warning of future catastrophes we can all see slowly occurring right before our eyes. A cry to save the ocean was loud and clear at the Museum of Art, Architecture, & Technology (MAAT).
As attendees to MAAT enter the breathtaking, futuristic building, the installation that immediately grabs their undivided attention is titled “Over Flow,” a work created by Japanese artist Tadashi Kawamata.
Most spectators’ initial thought is undoubtedly “Why is there a pile of garbage in the art museum?” But as those onlookers continue to gaze upon the installation, they start to recognize its intricate placement and repetitive nuances. Rounding the corner, down the ramp, beneath the net of garbage, the shadows create an underwater-like environment; sunken boats rest on the lower level, below a net of rubbish and unacceptable truth. One immediately realizes the powerful message behind the work.
Kawamata worked in collaboration for over a year with a large network of local organizations and volunteers, gathering trash from around the beaches of Lisbon and assembling the piece of art square by square in a strategically thought-out pattern, to help create this awe-inspiring, truly immersive installation.
“Over Flow” raises awareness to an ongoing problem, which could result in catastrophe. The only thing I could think while standing engulfed in the artist-created seascape of garbage was “We can do better; we have to do better.” I think Kawamata accomplished his mission.
By Aaron Newport
Throughout 2018, GreenEarth has seen its most successful year to date, when it comes to building relationships with garment retailers and manufacturers.
There have been more labels with with our logo than ever before, but we are now starting to see our branding and messaging appear on instore leaflets, hang tags, websites and packaging. And not only is GreenEarth being adopted by more brands, they are positioning OUR logo on more product within their ranges.
The key to achieving this is continued engagement with Retailer and Manufacturers.
So far this year, there have been 21 Technical Visits to Johnson Cleaners Specialist Centre in Rugby, U.K. In addition, we have hosted a Technical visit at Jeeves of Belgravia in London, 3 webinars and held our own event in London.
There have been 130 delegates on the Technical Visits to Rugby, across 25 companies – These include high end retailers through to online fast fashion.
There have been 10 approved care labels in 2018 so far, 7 of which are from brand new recommending retailers. The same label is often used in many products for the same brand, just changing the style code. So, the consumer is becoming more aware of our brand.
This is something GreenEarth aims to build on in 2019 because GreenEarth IS what all the best labels are wearing!
If you are a manufacturer or retailer and would like to find out more about our events, please visit our Events Page.
By: Garry Knox
Thanks to Instagram, the blogging world is booming and bigger than ever. As an image-reliant platform, fashion bloggers, especially, are reaching social media stardom for their wardrobe choices and styling tips. And within just fashion, there’s so much variety. Want that cool mom closet? There’s a blog all about it. You’re more the outdoorsy type? There’s one for that too. How about a blog on achieving that trendy street style? I guarantee it’s out there. Here at GreenEarth Cleaning, we see ourselves as part of the sustainable fashion industry. While the manufacturing process is what most people associate with the movement, how a garment is cared for after it has been purchased has just as much of an effect on the planet. Most exciting to us is that there are bloggers who are speaking up about sustainability in the industry and sharing their ideas for improvement. Below, we’ve highlighted a few we’re following along with when it comes to environmentally conscious fashion.
Chicago-based Elizabeth brings a broader scope to her writing, incorporating mindful living practices with her ethical brand finds. She often shares points for more responsible travel as well. The fact that her subject matter is so diverse is actually what drew me to the blog in the first place. There’s always a new aspect of sustainability you probably hadn’t thought about before. And her holistic thinking inspires you to apply the same outlook to maybe some aspects of your life that aren’t as green as they could be.View this post on Instagram
It’s #SlowFashionOctober and I’m celebrating by wearing and supporting incredible slow fashion brand and Conscious Style partner, @sunday.west ~ . . Ensuring that the piece was ethically made (unless it was thrifted) is an absolute must now for me before I bring in a new piece to my closet. And working with @sunday.west, I know that it’s Kim ~ the owner, designer, and jack of all trades ~ making every piece herself! How cool is that? . . I know that she’s carefully constructing each piece (I can tell by the fantastic quality of this dress!) and that each piece is made with intention and passion (I can tell because she shared her story on the Conscious Life & Style blog!). There are no questions about who made the piece or how it was made. . . THIS is fashion I can feel good about. ♥️ Now I’d love for you to tell us: why do you support slow fashion? . . #ConsciousStyle #Partner #SlowFashion
A post shared by Ethical Fashion + Lifestyle (@consciousstyle) on Oct 2, 2018 at 4:08pm PDT
Kate Hall lives, breathes, and probably dreams sustainability. Currently residing in Auckland, New Zealand, she and her husband live a zero-waste lifestyle. You can tell her passion for the environment started with fashion, though. Her enthusiasm about the subject leaves you just as enthusiastic, even if you’re entirely new to the world of ethical style. It has to be one of the most refreshing things to see someone’s love for their work carry over into an end result. Reading “Ethically Kate,” it honestly can be somewhat difficult to remember that living consciously isn’t our society’s norm…yet.View this post on Instagram
ETHICAL BAGS I’m off jet-setting to Queenstown this morning: and my @duffleandco Rhodes Duffle is in the overhead locker (literally typing this on the plane!)✈️ The Jodie Crossbody Bag is another favourite and I can’t count how many messages I’ve had about how much you all adore this bag! @duffleandco tick all my boxes when I comes to sustainability, and I can 100% vouch for their quality and durability: key for everyday bags ❤️ Use code ETHICALLYKATE for 10% off if you were disappointed in missing last week’s giveaway! See ya guys I’m off to Queenstown @itsisaaccraig
A post shared by Kate Hall Eco Lifestyle Blog (@ethicallykate) on Oct 3, 2018 at 1:36pm PDT
From fast fashion addict to slow fashion activist, Leah’s volunteer trip to Brazil inspired her now minimalist lifestyle. While the Brisbane local does write well-informed on the topic, probably my favorite part of this blog is that she’s also still learning. A soon-to-be Branded Fashion Design graduate from the Billy Blue College of Design, her own upcycled creations using scrap fabrics are the entries that keep me coming back for more. She talks the talk and walks the walk. And who can’t appreciate that?View this post on Instagram
A post shared by The Unmaterial Girl (@unmaterialgirl) on Oct 6, 2018 at 12:50am PDT
By Zarah Eads
Tailgating is one of America’s favorite pastimes and rightfully so! Tailgating brings communities together, encourages outdoor activity, and it’s just plain fun. There is one draw back, however; some of our tailgating traditions are simply horrible for the environment. Not to fret, there are steps tailgaters can take which will allow for full enjoyment of those weekend parking lot shenanigans, yet still honor dedication to a minimal carbon footprint. Follow these simple steps and achieve the ever so coveted Green Star Tailgater status.
Be like Aaron Rodgers, produce zero garbage
After every game, several thousand plastic cups, plates, utensils, etc., create a sea of trash. Ditch the disposable products; it’s really not that hard. No one is asking anyone to pull out his or her finest china. Go and get some cheap, reusable, unbreakable dishes from literally ANY department store. Designate the set “tailgating supplies” and continue to use them every time a tailgating shindig comes up. It’ll save a lot of money in the long run too.
Recycle beer cans, like the Patriots recycle players
Of course it’s tough to avoid beer cans and/or bottles while tailgating. There will be beer; yes, there will be lots of beer. Save what must be thrown away in a trash bag and drop them off at the local recycling plant, or for most cities in the U.S., just leave it out near the sidewalk. Tailgaters can successfully party garbage free by using reusable products and recycling the rest. Challenge accepted?
Pick food choices carefully, like Richard Sherman picks passes!
Tailgaters have more sustainable food options than Kansas City Chiefs’ QB, Patrick Mahomes, has on Sunday. Purchase food in bulk to reduce the amount of packaging. Chip in with those tailgating accomplices–buy food in large quantities to save some green while going green. Make food from home, again using reusable containers for transporting–NO GARBAGE! Only buy food from stores sold in packaging that can be recycled, like paper. Root for the home team and buy local! Buying local supports the local economy and reduces emissions and packaging needed for transporting products from a greater distance. Lastly, propane is SO MUCH better than charcoal for grilling, is this really still a debate? Seriously, use propane.
Take Jerome Bettis
Take the bus! Reducing the number of vehicles on the road reduces congestion and air pollution, optimizing lung capacity, so fans can cheer on their team for all 4 quarters. Realizing, some tailgaters have a lot to carry with them, in which case, carpooling is another environmentally conscious option. Certainly the crew can optimize car space and minimize the number of cars.
Now go earn that Green Star Tailgater status!
By: Aaron Newport
The U.K. introduced a 5 pence Plastic Bag Tax in 2015 to reduce the amount of plastic waste generated from the country’s consumers.
Since then, there has been a reduction in the number of bags issues by 85 percent.
This has led to government plans to not only increase the tax to 10 pence but to apply to ALL Retail brands. Previously, all brands with less than 250 employees and those who were service only, such as take-aways and dry cleaners had been exempt.
It remains to be seen the full extents of the increase, but it is already been described a “profiteering”.
But when you consider the implications of plastic waste contaminating the oceans and recent reports of a Whale’s stomach containing 30 plastic bags, an additional 5 pence and a change in human behaviour by taking ‘bags for life’ to the supermarket, perhaps it’s a small price to pay.
U.K. dry cleaners take note…
By: Garry Knox
When we think about things that aren’t sustainable, most of us think in terms of what’s good or bad for the environment. And generally, what comes to our minds are manufactured chemicals, or large quantities of materials that are toxic, or substances that aren’t “natural”, or even catastrophic events of nature like volcanos and forest fires.
But recently an example of a very small quantity of a product we’ve all used most of our lives to protect us from the sun has been deemed to be upsetting to the environment and is no longer considered to be sustainable for aquatic life. For as it turns out, even the small quantity of suntan lotion that we use outdoors can be dangerous to the coral reefs in Hawaii, the U.S. Virgin Island and Israel.
In May, Hawaii became the first state in the U.S. to pass a law prohibiting the sale of over-the-counter sunscreens containing the chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate that scientists have found contribute to coral bleaching when washed off in the ocean. The new Hawaiian rules will go into effect January 1, 2021.
So it isn’t always large quantities of certain chemicals that cause environmental problems. Of course, we at GreenEarth are committed to using a medium that is scientifically proven to be environmentally non-toxic. And while the GreenEarth silicone dry cleaning fluid is the same silicone that is used as a major ingredient in sun tan lotions, we think it’s important to note that the ban on these lotions is not because of our silicone chemical but rather the small amount of two of the other chemicals used in the product. And so, small amounts of certain chemicals can be much more dangerous than large amounts of other chemicals! Each has to be evaluated scientifically based upon the impact they cause.
By: Ron Benjamin
The Fourth of July is here, and it’s time to break out your red, white, and blue! But don’t forget your green. This holiday is about celebrating our beautiful country, so doesn’t it make sense that we also should be conscious of how we care for it? Check out these tips on letting freedom ring in a sustainable way.
Life, liberty, and the pursuit of reusables
Disposables may be convenient when hosting holiday festivities, but they’re far from friendly to the environment. Bring down the reusable plates, bowls, cups, and silverware! A few extra dishes at the end of the night is all in the name of a cleaner planet. If you must use disposables, though, choose materials you can easily recycle, like paper, glass, and aluminum. There’s even dinnerware you can buy that’s been recycled once already—just make sure to keep it going!
Grill that I love
If you’re like me, barbecue is pretty much a must on the Fourth of July. However, there are greener ways than others to prepare your mouth-watering American fare. The majority of scientists have come to the conclusion that gas grills trump charcoal. Lump charcoal requires the cutting down of mesquite trees. And on top of the deforestation affect, it also takes more fuel to produce and transport than propane. Apart from these most common models, electric and solar-powered grills are even better in terms of eco-friendliness.
Sweet land of carpooling
When it comes to those who are traveling for Independence Day, try cutting down on gasoline emissions by taking as few vehicles as possible. Or go by public transit, instead. Either way, you’ll be helping the planet and traffic buildup. It’s really a win-win!
From sea to shining sea
Wherever you are this Fourth of July, spend it outside. Turn off the TV, put your phone down, and enjoy the summer weather. Set up some lawn games for a little friendly competition. Organize a hike to a breathtaking lookout spot. “Amber waves of grain” or “purple mountain majesties”—nothing gets you in the patriotic spirit quite like America’s nature.
Stars and stripes…and sparkles
It’s hard to imagine the Fourth of July without fireworks. Unfortunately, after the spectacle, fireworks fall back to the ground and release a number of pollutants into our water, soil, and air. It’s best to just forego the sparklers, rockets, roman candles, and whatever else you may find inside those brightly-colored, one-time-a-year tents. At the very least, gather at a community-hosted event to minimize the number of releases.
By: Zarah Eads
British Frozen Food store ‘Iceland’ is looking to ban Palm Oil in its own branded products by the end of 2018. One of the food retailers outside of the big four Supermarkets, feels that the production of Palm Oil in South East Asia, is not sustainable and in fact it’s their opinion that harvesting Palm Oil is having a devastating effect, which is why they have taken the decision.
They will still however continue to stock products by other brands that may contain Palm Oil but hope their decision might influence others. Iceland have also committed to removing plastic from its own branded products by 2023.
After the end of the year, their own products will carry a ‘No Palm Oil’ sticker, which features an image of an orangutan.
Chances are Palm Oil is found in many products found around the home, from Biscuits to Soap and Iceland were first alerted to the full details of Palm Oil harvesting by Greenpeace.
Richard Walker, Managing Director of Iceland has stated:
“Until Iceland can guarantee palm oil is not causing rainforest destruction, we are simply saying ‘no to palm oil’. We don’t believe there is such a thing as ‘sustainable’ palm oil available to retailers, so we are giving consumers a choice about what they buy”
Why is Palm Oil considered to be controversial?
- Palm oil production is said to have been responsible for about 8% of the world’s deforestation between 1990 and 2008, which also has a knock on effect on the wild life that live there.
- Burning large areas of forests to clear areas where oil palms can be grown has also been blamed for high levels of air pollution in South East Asia
- Some experts say eating palm oil is unhealthy because it is high in saturated fat
EU labelling laws were changed in 2014 so products must now state specifically if they contain palm oil.
Iceland Frozen Food’s annual commitment to Palm Oil is 500 tonnes. Whilst this is a drop in the 400,000 tonnes that comes into the U.K. each year, it is definitely a step into the right direction.
By: Garry Knox
The year 2020 will mark the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, or GreenEarth Day as we like to call it, and currently this celebration is recognized as the largest secular observance in the world.
There are an estimated over 5,000 environmental groups in 184 countries focused on educating and activating the world’s population to encourage policy change and influence positive human behavior.
The participants worldwide for Earth Day are estimated to exceed well over 1 billion people.
Countless conservation and sustainability projects are being promoted on every possible channel imaginable focused on this day.
With the culture and mission of GreenEarth Cleaning so aligned with the spirit of Earth Day, it is understandable that it takes on the feeling of a birthday celebration for the GreenEarth family.
GreenEarth Cleaning sees our focus to help this industry follow our lead in promoting year-round attention to sustainable garment care.
The message below went out to all our Affiliates worldwide in advance of Earth Day was meant to be shared with all and the message bears repeating.Happy Earth Day
What’s your one thing?
Why not make everyday Earth Day by making a resolution to take at least one positive green action each and every day? Doing one green thing each day is an easy enough promise to make, and you’ll feel good about keeping it
GreenEarth Affiliates, their employees and customers are aware of the positive impact that our commitment to sustainability benefits the environment.
On this one day, it feels right to merge our names here on this day, joining with the Earth Day celebration and proclaim that: GreenEarthDay is Everyday!
By: Joe Blaha
On Thursday 12th April GreenEarth® Cleaning hosted a Business Briefing on the subject of ‘Sustainable Aftercare for Garments and Textiles’ at the Marriott Grosvenor Square in London.
Keynote speaker for the day was GreenEarth President Tim Maxwell, alongside Louann Spirito of SGS and myself.
It was a great opportunity for us to talk a room of retailers, manufacturers and testing houses about the GreenEarth® difference and how it can make a difference to how retailers operate and to our planet.
Following the introductions, Tim talked to the delegates about what GreenEarth® is, who we are as a team and how important a role we play in garment aftercare. Talking not only about how at worst GreenEarth® performs as well as other solutions and in a lot of cases much better, because of no colour loss, no shrinkage and most importantly because it is non-toxic… particularly important for the planet and for those who work in the aftercare industry.
Tim highlighted how more and more dry cleaners around the world are using GreenEarth and that D5 the purest form of liquid silicone used for dry cleaning, is also used in many products found in most households, such as body lotions, shaving foam and deodorants. Then going onto make the point that GreenEarth is mostly recycled, loses less energy than other solutions and ensures that clothing and textiles can last longer – drawing comparisons with the key fundamentals of the circular economy.
Next to speak, was Louann Spirito, Director of Technical Support for the Softlines area of SGS. Louann gave an insight into the business and also her years of experience working in testing labs. Her recollection of how Perchloroethylene would melt the tongs she would use for textile testing, really got the delegates’ minds turning! Louann relayed how the use of the GreenEarth machine in Guangzhou, China has really made SGS look at testing within its global business.
SGS have had the machine in operation for over 2 years and has worked well to service retailers and manufacturers, particularly in the far east. Their evaluation is consistent with the excellent consumer experience of GreenEarth and again particularly around embellished items and leather garments. There are many challenges facing the Testing industry, which Louann talked through and one of those challenges is Sustainability.
The GreenEarth and SGS relationship is one that will last long into the future.
Tim then took to the stage again and talked about new developments within GreenEarth, particularly the increased use of the Activated Clay Filtration (ACF) programme. Using Activated Clay Filtration powder combined with environmentally improved detergent (Sustain) and Spotting Agent (Prime), affiliates around the globe are seeing even better results from GreenEarth with a reduction of energy and water usage by 50 per cent.
GreenEarth is now in over 40 countries via over 1800 dry cleaners and 2018 is looking like a year for continued growth and development.
It was my turn to speak to the audience, demonstrating some of the differences that we had seen on silks, leathers and other items, stressing how important it is to test to get the best results for them and the customer.
Sustainability has crept up the agenda of Fashion retailers significantly over the last 18 months and that has shown through the enquiries and meetings that we have had. I talked through the work that I have done over the last 3 years and how there are options to attend technical meetings or indeed for me to present to garment technicians at head offices.
Testing is fundamental to the performance of the garment and the customer experience. Delegates were able to see test results for themselves, the GreenEarth difference on leather swatches and pieces of embellished materials.
Attendees were able to understand how they could promote GreenEarth on their care labels, followed up with colleague and customer communications, informing them what GreenEarth is and how it can be accessed globally. The support that GreenEarth® is able to be in a position to give to retailers and affiliates alike is second to none, due to their customer loyalty and reputation.
Over the last 20 years, GreenEarth® has established its own heritage as a sustainable form of aftercare. It is by far the most credible alternative option to perc. Other entrants to the market may have an advantage over perc… but fail to tick as many boxes as GreenEarth® – the performance and environmental statistics speak for themselves.
As we approach Earth Day, we are proud to green and completely clean.
If you’d like to attend future GreenEarth® events, please visit our Events Page.
By: Garry Knox